nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Another bit of serendipity when I stumbled upon Helen Timbury’s beautiful work. Helen is an Aussie graphic designer, illustrator and printmaker and I’m especially enamored of her linocut prints.

Nature seems to be her primary inspiration. She offers linocut workshops and you can purchase signed limited edition prints and boxed sets of notecards at her website shop. Gorgeous stuff!


2. New book alert! Today is official pub day for Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing by Leda Schubert and Raúl Colón (Roaring Brook Press, 2017).

There was nobody like Pete Seeger.
Wherever he went, he got people singing.
With his head thrown back
and his Adam’s apple bouncing,
picking his long-necked banjo
or strumming his twelve-string guitar,
Pete sang old songs,
new songs,
new words to old songs,
and songs he made up.

In this gorgeously written and illustrated tribute to legendary musician and activist Pete Seeger, author Leda Schubert highlights major musical events in Mr. Seeger’s life as well important moments of his fight against social injustice. From singing sold-out concerts to courageously standing against the McCarthy-era finger-pointing, Pete Seeger’s life is celebrated in this bold book for young readers with gorgeous illustrations by Raúl Colón.

Great to hear of another PB biography about Pete Seeger. This one has received a *starred review* from Kirkus, and I’m very anxious to read it. For more, check out this cool interview with Leda at Cynsations. Congrats to Leda and Raúl!


3. More serendipity: pleasant surprise to see this excellent blog post at Delightful Learning featuring my second picture book Truman’s Aunt Farm. A homeschooling mom shared the book with her children, then they ordered their own ant farm, made ant hill cupcakes, and had an Ant Picnic Party, complete with little hot dogs, jelly sandwiches and rice pudding, just like in the book.

The kids even wrote a letter to their Aunt Elizabeth, echoing Truman’s letter to his Aunt Fran. Lots of cute photos in the post too. Truman is celebrating his 23rd year in print! Illustrator G. Brian Karas recently remarked that Truman has aged well. 🙂


4. Just for Fun: recently spotted at Pee Wee Herman’s blog: Deep-Fried Shrimp Sleeping Bags! If you know me, you know that Japanese food is my favorite; it’s my first choice when going out to eat. And one of the things I always used to order (before I tested positive for shellfish allergy) was shrimp tempura. ♥

Now that I can’t eat shrimp anymore (*weeps*), maybe I can channel my tempura love into deep fried slumber attire. Think how peacefully you’d sleep, knowing you were wrapped up in a cozy panko breading. 🙂 But there’s just one teensy problem. I’d have to move to Japan to buy one. Sigh.



5. Another book on my Wish List: In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs by Andrew Blauner (Blue Rider Press, 2017). Just released May 23rd, this anthology features essays by 29 authors and musicians, including Roz Chast on “She Loves You,” Jane Smiley on “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” Rosanne Cash on “No Reply,” Gerald Early on “I’m a Loser,” Rick Moody on “The End,” Maria Popova on “Yellow Submarine,” David Duchovny on “Dear Prudence,” Chuck Klosterman on “Helter Skelter,”  and David Hadju on “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number).”

The Beatles’ influence—on their contemporaries, on our cultural consciousness, and on the music industry ever after—is difficult to overstate. We all have a favorite song from the band that made us want to fall in love, tune in, and follow our dreams. Arranged chronologically by the date of the song’s release, these essays highlight both the Beatles’ evolution as well as the span of generations their music affected. From Beatlemaniacs who grew up listening to the iconic albums on vinyl to new fans who download the songs on iTunes, each contributor explores a poignant intersection between Beatles history and personal history.

Just like with Dylan, I’m endlessly fascinated by the Beatles and will read anything and everything about them. 🙂


6. Speaking of eating out, here’s a fun idea: a Lego-themed diner called Brick Burger, located in Pasig City (Philippines), serves square building brick buns in eye-popping colors.

Owned by Lego enthusiast Jergs Correa, Brick Burger’s menu currently features 10 different burgers with toppings such as mac and cheese, bacon bits, caramelized onions, and barbecue sauce. Their bestseller? The Darth Burger (caramelized onions, mushrooms, bacon, garlic, barbecue sauce). Black bun, of course. May the fork not be with you.


7. What’s new from James Ward at Jimbobart? Teacups with sweet birds on them and saucers with their favorite treats! You can choose from Wren and Cookies:

Bullfinch and Victoria Sponge:

Gold Crest and Jaffa Cakes:

or Long-tailed Tit and Party Rings:

Also love this Bear Tankard:

Though I’m admittedly partial to James’s bear designs (after all, he once decorated a bathtub with a big bear in red underpants), I also enjoy his moles, voles, pigs, owls, and badgers on plates.

And his stackable mugs are always fun.

If you can’t make it to his shop in London, you can order items via his online shop.


8. And yet another cool read, just released on May 30, 2017: She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger (Philomel, 2017).

Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.

She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.
With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Persistence is power.
This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor–and one special cameo.

It’s already received a *starred review* from Publishers Weekly. I think I can guess who the “special cameo” is. 🙂


9. Finally, Holy Marmalade! Look what’s coming in January 2018 (UK release November 2017). 

Mr. Cornelius, the 50-something resident Paddingtons and I cannot wait! And January is Michael Bond’s birthday month. A celebration is definitely in order. 🙂


Alright, Cutie Pies, have a good week.

Be good.

Read good books.

Eat good food.

Be kind and take a bear to lunch.

Happy Tuesday!

Copyright © 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.









17 thoughts on “nine cool things on a tuesday

  1. Thanks, Jama. I love each part, no surprise! I will have to save the one about the lego burgers. The grand-girls spent much of the past days building with new lego sets! They will love seeing those sandwiches. I didn’t know about your Truman book, will have to get it! Congrats on its continuing love! And more Seeger, more Beatles, more to love!


    1. Yes, your granddaughters will enjoy seeing those lego burgers. It must be a fun place to visit since the furniture is lego-themed too.

      Truman has actually sold more copies than Dumpling Soup — they’ve both in print about the same length of time. Truman was picked up by book clubs and that has made a difference in sales.

      I have the Seeger and Beatles books on my Wish List :).


  2. I was thinking about getting that Beatles book for my dad — he took an entire class about the Beatles once! The shrimp tempura outfit — oh my gosh, so cute!


  3. Loved Stand Up & Sing, Jama, so I will look forward to this other Pete Seeger bio too! Can’t wait to read She Persisted!!! And those linocuts are just stunning. 🙂


    1. It will be interesting to compare the Pete Seeger PB biographies. The choice of what information to focus on says a lot about the author. I do know that I love Raul Colon’s work so I anticipate it will be a beautiful book.


  4. Swoon worthy list, Jama! I think a shrimp tempura sleeping bag would be the coolest. Just got in line at the library to read She Persisted…glad all 13 copies they have are in demand. =)


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s